In 2005 I wrote a miniseries for Marvel entitled Loki, which was about the tricker god's antagonistic relationship with his step-brother, Thor, god of thunder. There were two things that made if different from any previous Thor-Loki throwdown: first, the story begins not with Loki attempting to seize control over Asgard, but the moment he finally does so (that's right, it starts with Loki winning); and second, the ravishingly gorgeous painted artwork of Esad Ribic.
The series was a runaway hit and was collected in both hardcover and trade paperback. Now, with Kenneth Branagh's big-budget Thor movie coming to theaters, Marvel has repackaged the series in a new hardcover edition called Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, and even more gratifyingly, has turned the entire story into a four-part animated TV miniseries. And rather than start from scratch and try to come up with graphics that match the majesty of Esad's painted images, they have—by some uncanny, jaw-dropping digital alchemy—just animated Esad's artwork itself.
Throw in some ridiculously gifted, classically trained voice actors and a score that Carl Orff might have written, and you've got an adaptation every bit as powerful as the original—maybe even more so. (And I can say that, 'cause I'm the guy, knowhumsayin'?)
You can get the first episode on iTunes, PSN, Xbox Live and a couple other places on 3/28. Enjoy.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Earlier this month—in my capacity as a member of the Gentlemen's Auxiliary of the spoken-word ensemble BoyGirlBoyGirl—I took part in a revue entitled "The Alternative History of Chicago Theater (Abridged)", sponsored by WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio). My colleagues Susan Karp, Rachel Claff and I each did a short piece on the subject of ambition, jealousy, and frustrated hopes. My contribution follows:
For about 50 years in the early 1990s, William Petersen was ubiquitous on Chicago’s theater scene. He took every lead in every production of every play by every company. I was a young writer doing P.R. work for the old Halsted Theatre Centre, so you can trust me: it was my business to know the landscape. And I saw William Petersen tackle every iconic role in the western repertoire, except Lady Bracknell, and I was probably just sick that day. Kings and killers, vice-lords and varsity-men—William Petersen, William Petersen, William Petersen, William Petersen. All over Chicago struggling actors scrutinized themselves in their mirrors and asked, “What has William Petersen got that I haven’t got? What elusive quality does he possess that I don’t seem to generate? Is it already too late for me? What is the point of going on?”
Which makes you wonder what William Petersen thought when he looked in his mirror. Possibly something like...“What has John Malkovich got that I haven’t got? Why does John Malkovich get on magazine covers? I am so much hotter. Why does John Malkovich get to do movies? Why does John Malkovich get to do movies about 18th century French aristocrats? Is there an actor alive less like an 18th century French aristocrat than John Malkovich? Why does John Malkovich get to do movies about being John Malkovich? Why have I stalled out at this regional level? Why am I only a local phenomenon? Would it help if I grew a beard? Why did I turn down Platoon? Is it already too late for me? What is the point of going on?”
And then you have to wonder what John Malkovich thought when he looked in his mirror. Probably something like…“Ohhh yeah. Mmmm-hm. It’s all good. I am so glad I turned down Platoon.”
Photo by Jerry Schulman.
Teatro Rodi is the official blog of Robert Rodi—novelist, fantasist, monologuist, memoirist, essayist and musician. It's where you can find news about upcoming projects, publications and performances; it's also the place to find writings that haven't been published anywhere else. (See how deftly I avoided saying, "where I can dump all my stray scraps and blatherings.") Anyway, welcome aboard.